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Archive for the ‘German’ Category

Happy Holidays

I hope everyone is having a great holiday season. I’ve been eating and drinking very good these last few days. Just a couple of quick updates:

  • Recently, I returned to Taberna Del Alabardero for a birthday dinner. While the food was good, we did find that it was not as tasty as the last visit. Overall, we were pleased with the meal. We ordered a selection of tapas, including octopus ceviche, sausage and cheese platter, cod fritters, stuffed mussels, deviled eggs topped with tuna, and duck foie gras. We also tried the marinated pork loin and oxtail paella.

    My favorites were the duck foie gras and the octopus ceviche. They also provide you with complimentary bread and olive oil. The one dish we were particularly unhappy with was the deviled eggs topped with tuna. Last visit, this dish was the stand out but this time it tasted very over salted.

    The atmosphere and service here are great, which makes it worth a visit. However, the food could be better for the price.

  • For Christmas, I made kartoffelpuffer, or German potato pancakes. I had bought a mix from the Christkindlmarkt and decided to finally make it. It was extremely easy and it turned out really well. The mix only cost $1.80 and makes about 15 pancakes. They turned out crispy and golden brown.

  • I was finally able to check out Fenwick Beer and Wine. I’ve been meaning to go here for months. I stopped in to grab some last minute gifts as well as beer for the Christmas weekend. It’s located just off of Georgia Avenue in a converted house.

    The selection here is fantastic! They had a huge range of beer and wine. They have an amazing selection of single beers so you can make your own 6-pack. My one complaint is that they did not provide any 6-pack holders, so I was carrying the beers around the store.

    However, this is my new favorite beer store. I read a few reviews on Yelp, and some people were complaining about the prices. I found the prices to be very reasonable. They offer hard to find beers, and you’d be hard pressed to find these beers anywhere else in the area.

    I picked up a 6-pack of Hibernator by Long Trail Brewing Company and Hibernation Ale by Great Divide Brewing company (notice a theme here?)

    I really liked the Hibernator. It’s a malt-heavy Scottish ale, and would pair perfectly with a hearty stew.

    This is the winter offering from Great Divide. It is aged for over three months each year, so they begin preparing it in July. It’s a very robust beer, and packs an 8% ABV.

    I also picked up a few individual bottles. Three were gifts, one was to share.

    I grabbed a bottle of Lord Wimsey’s Mild Pale Ale. It’s made for people who do not like tons of hops. This is a good, light beer for when you don’t want something too hoppy.

    I also bought a couple of gifts:

    I mentioned how much I liked the store and their selection, and they gave me some goat cheese from Cherry Glen as a Christmas present. This cheese is made in Boyd’s, MD and is delicious.

    I also bought some chocolate for my family, as they had a nice selection by the register.

    Overall, this is an excellent beer store when you are looking for something a little different. I will certainly be back.

  • A friend of mine shared a bottle of Cockeyed Cooper by Uinta Brewery with me. It’s a barley wine aged in bourbon barrels.

    I really enjoyed this beer. It’s a heavy beer with an 11% ABV. This is a great beer to sip on and pairs well with cheese and dessert.

  • Last week, I picked up a 6-pack of Starr Hill’s The Gift. This is their winter beer, and it is excellent. It’s a German-style Hellerbock, meaning it does not contain a large amount of hops. This is one of the best winter beers that I’ve ever had.
  • While on the topic of beer stores, I recently returned to Wheaton Winery on University Boulevard. I’ve been here before, but never really paid much attention to it. Elbe’s is usually my go-to beer store. However, the selection here has greatly improved. I picked up a 6-pack of Butternuts Beer which included 2 Pork Slap, 2 Heinnieweisse Weissebier, 1 Moo Thunder Stout, and 1 Snapperhead IPA.

    They also have a really good selection of wine, champagne, and sake. The prices here are also excellent. The only downside is the parking is tricky in this shopping center.

  • I had a lot of time to kill yesterday and decided to go for a walk around Wheaton. I walked through Mangos Market, which I plan to come back to and order some food one of these days. I also stopped in to Rumba Y Carbon on Grandview Avenue for a beer. It’s a fairly big place with a bar, a good amount of tables, and also a stage. I sat at the bar and ordered a Corona for $2.50. They were playing soccer and movies on the TV’s. Bartender asked me if I wanted to see a menu but I declined, so I can’t comment on the food. The bartenders were really nice, as were the other people sitting at the bar. I can’t say I’ll hang out here every day, but it’s not a bad place at all.
  • Last night, I was looking for a place to watch Monday Night Football with a friend of mine. We were going to go to Limerick Pub, but they were closed for the holidays. We decided to go to Legends, which is a few doors down. There were a good amount of people in there for a Monday night. We sat at the bar and watched most of the game, but then decided we wanted to play pool. We payed $9 for an hour of pool. There are plenty of tables, although they aren’t in the best shape. This is a fun place to meet up with friends, have a couple beers, and watch football, but it does not fill the sports bar niche that Wheaton desperately needs. However, I like this place and like hanging out here occasionally.
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I finally got the chance to try out Rocklands in Arlington, VA. It has been calling my name for a long time. My girlfriend and I headed over on a Sunday afternoon to grab some food for the Redskins game.

As we approached, we were hit with the intoxicating smell of barbecue. That’s always a good sign. Upon entering, we were both immediately struck with how nice it is on the inside. They had a full bar with a couple of bar stools, a few TV’s showing the Redskins game, a counter for ordering and pickup, and a couple of tables for dining-in. They also had a few stools with high tables that were perfect for waiting for your food. They even have a wall of hot sauce and beer for sale. It’s a very comfortable place.

We ordered the pulled pork sandwich with mashed potatoes and baked beans, and the beef brisket sandwich with greens and mac and cheese. We found the pulled pork to be pretty good, although we didn’t realize you need to put your own sauce on top. It did not come with much BBQ sauce, but now we realized that you are supposed to add your own from the wall of sauces. Portion wasn’t huge, but I was pleased with the sandwich. The mashed potatoes were delicious and buttery. The baked beans were good and had a nice smoky flavor.

The beef brisket was also really good, but again, we wished we had put some more BBQ sauce on it. However, the quality of the meat was good and it was cooked well. The greens were tasty, but we were not crazy about the mac and cheese. Next time I’ll probably try something different, but overall we really liked this place.

I’d love to come back and grab a beer and a plate of BBQ.

Rocklands Barbeque & Grilling Company on Urbanspoon

In other news:

I ordered Chicken Parmesan from Pines of Florence in Arlington, VA. Not the best I’ve ever had, but it sure did hit the spot. Nothing to go out of your way for, but it’s still pretty good.

Last week, I grabbed a Flying Dog variety pack from Elbe’s and really enjoyed it. The pack included:

Doggie Style Pale Ale
Old Scratch Amber Lager
Tire Bite Golden Ale
Snake Dog IPA
Road Dog Porter
In-Heat Wheat Hefeweizen

My favorites were the Snake Dog IPA, the Road Dog Porter, and the In-Heat Wheat. However, all of these beers are excellent. The only one that wasn’t all that exciting to me was the Old Scratch Amber.

Last week, I also got a chance to try the Smuttynose Winter Ale.

I’m a big fan of Smuttynose, so I was excited to try this beer. This particular beer is a Belgian dubbel, and really goes down smooth. If you see this at your beer store, pick it up and give it a try. Very tasty.

I also got a chance to try another beer from Baying Hound Alewerks. Baying Hound is brewed in Rockville, MD, so it doesn’t get much more local then that. I picked up a bomber of the Baying Hound Sarvara Black IPA.

The commercial description is as follows:

“The Śarvara were four-eyed, two-headed dogs guarding the gates of hell for Yama, Lord of Death. These bloodthirsty hellhounds could devour an entire cow in one or two bites. And their baying was so loud, the Banshees (in Ireland) had to cover their ears. No kidding. These dogs were wicked mean. Śarvara Black India Pale Ale is appropriately fierce, devilishly hopped at over 80 IBUs, black as night and ready to be devoured.”

This is an excellent beer, very dark and hoppy. My Dad and I shared it and both really enjoyed it. We are planning to tour the brewery as soon as possible.

This weekend, my family had a German themed party and I was responsible for getting the beer. I went over to Gilly’s in Rockville and was really happy with what I found. I picked up:

Löwenbräu Original
Hacker-Pschorr Münchner Gold
Wolters Fest-Bier

Let’s start with the Löwenbräu Original. This beer used to be huge in the US, and at the time it was brewed by Miller with an altered recipe. Today, they have reverted to the old recipe and is no longer brewed by Miller. This is a very neutral, middle of the road beer. It doesn’t make much impression on you one way or another. This would be great to drink out of Das Boot because it goes down smooth and is pretty light.

The Hacker-Pschorr Münchner Gold was far and away my favorite of the bunch.

This is an excellent Helles lager, goes down smooth, perfect to accompany a meal or to just drink with friends. Very crisp and refreshing.

Last but not least is the Wolters Fest-Bier .

This is an Oktoberfest-style beer. Pretty good, very drinkable. I’d probably try something different next time.

Hope everyone has a great week!

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Binkert’s Sausages

For the past few years around Christmas time, my family has been going to the German market at a church in Baltimore. It’s a great place to buy gifts, candy, and other things. Out in front of the church, they sell German beer and sausages. There is always a stand selling German sausages called Binkert’s.

We bought a bunch of them, and found them to be so good that my family went out of our way to buy them again. We had a cookout on Sunday and picked up some Bavarian and Nuernberger Bratwurst. Everyone was extremely happy with them.

These sausages are the real deal.

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